One year later, while preparing for Goshen’s next annual flea market fundraiser in support of the Grange Hall, another volunteer happened to look up in the rafters to see three more rolled up theatre curtains. This new discovery prompted Bea to get back on the phone to the expert; this time Hadsel was really intrigued and told them not to touch a thing until she could get over to take a look and unroll them properly.
“What are they going to look like?” was the curious refrain among the “Friends of the Grange Hall.” When Christine and her crew managed to get them all unrolled they discovered the greatly anticipated inventory included a grand drape depicting the Twin Bridges in Hillsborough (across the Contoocook River opposite the present McDonald’s Restaurant at the junction of Routes 202 and 9) surrounded with trompe l’oeil drapery, an advertising curtain depicting a number of Hillsborough businesses circa 1930, and a blank white canvas, in addition to the curtain of Rosewald Farm discovered by Jillette the previous year. All of the curtains were weighted at the bottom with corrugated drainpipe. [Yet another advertising curtain, depicting Goshen and Newport businesses, was found on top of the stage at Goshen’s Town Hall the following year.]
Knowledge about the curtains deepened via serendipity. Jillette had inherited her grandfather’s and his brother’s extensive collection of glass plate negatives, and she and Art came to a training session—offered through a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation given to the Hillsborough Historical Society—held in Hillsborough to learn how to restore them.
From that exposure, the Jillettes volunteered to work on the Manahan-McCulloch-Phelps Photographic Collection, passed from one generation of professional Hillsborough photographers to the next and donated intact. Gil Shattuck, the leader of that project and local historian, is said to know almost everything about the Hillsborough area. So, one day on a whim, they asked Shattuck if he knew anything about Rosewald Farm depicted on the recently rediscovered theatre curtain. Of course he knew exactly where Rosewald Farm was located, as he passes the still working farm every day on his way from his home into town and back.
It so happened that the last volunteer to be working ahead of the Jillettes had stopped during review of a glass plate negative of the very same Rosewald Farm they were so curious about. Ultimately, negatives of both the advertising and the Twin Bridges curtains were located within the collection.